Affectis strikes development pact with Merck Serono; Grifols plans to limit job cuts to fewer than 5% of Talecris workers;

@FierceBiotech: Cancer pacts sizzle as developers start to team early on combos. Story| Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Bloomberg: Last 12 months we've seen 226 announced US pharma acquisitions; average disclosed deal size of $204.7M; 40% average premium. | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Germany's Affectis Pharmaceuticals will pocket a €2.4 million upfront along with additional research funds from Merck Serono for a pact to develop and commercialize oral drugs targeting P2X7 receptors, which are believed to be involved in neuroinflammation observed in some neurodegenerative diseases. Affectis could garner up to €277 million for the first three approved products. Release

> Now that Grifols has completed its $4 billion acquisition of Talecris, CEO Victor Grifols Roura says he expects that job cuts will be limited to less than 5% of Talecris's 8,500 U.S. employees. Report

> Alnylam says that CSO Ken Koblan is opting to return to big pharma "for personal reasons." There's no word on which big pharma company he's headed to. Release

> Avila and Clovis Oncology have selected a drug candidate to advance into clinical development from the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutant-Selective Inhibitor alliance. Release

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Dendreon to test Provenge in early-stage cancer. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

> Pfizer plots another $1B in cost cuts. Story

> Covidien looks to sell pharma biz for up to $4B. Article

> Oncologists lament growing drug shortages. Report

> Four execs face prison for off-label scheme. Story

> Lilly poised to settle trade fight with Indian firms. News

> APP to launch Femara copy amid flattering data. Item

Drug Delivery News

> Brain tumor starved of iron, making chemo more effective. Story

> Drug-delivery device design impacts patient compliance. Article

> MicroDose proving itself to military as inhaled nerve-agent treatment. Report

> Cholera molecule helps cocaine addicts kick the habit. Article

> 'Smart bombs' deliver kidney cancer medication. News

> Visions of self-assembling nanomedicine dance in researchers' heads. Item

Medical Device News

> Roche, Merck to collaborate on cancer diagnostics. Report

> Appeals court finds for Boston Sci in stent case. News

> PolyRemedy nabs $20M in Series C. Story

> FDA panel to review Edwards SAPIEN valve next month. Article

> Ubl, MacMillan present 'Competitiveness Agenda' for med tech. Piece

> Crux raises $12M in investment round. Item

And Finally... A Temple University physicist says he's learned how to thin blood with the use of a magnetic field, reducing the risk of heart attacks. Release